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A young wife learns common cooking terms so as to better take care of her new husband.
This movie is part of the collection: Cooking - movies
Producer: Centron Productions
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Home economics: Cooking; Gender roles; Marriage
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Cooking: Terms and What They Mean
Fairly dull little home economics film. I enjoyed laughing at how ignorant the newbie housewife is.
Subject: Don't watch this if you want to learn how to cook
Margie somehow married off without learning to cook... didn't she learn this stuff in Home Ec? What was she doing when she should've been learning how to be a good housewife?
So the narrator explains simple cooking terms such as "fold" or "boil" in the most confusing way possible. He then quickly skims over a few more terms... They finally give up by suggesting that the viewer and Margie just look in the glossary of a cookbook. If Margie started off not even knowing how to boil something, she couldn't have possibly followed along.
But Margie's brighter than we give her credit for, after consulting the glossary she realizes how she messed up her husbands cake... But thankfully, it's only 10 AM! She has all freaking day to bake cakes!
This made me thankful that women are no longer automatically expected to have a "career as a cook." (Altho it is often still implied that we are, lol.) I joke, but I feel bad for Margie for being strapped with a responsibility she obviously has no natural interest in. (I knew how to cream butter when i was 10!)
Subject: Inside the Postwar Kitchen
A film about postwar cooking techniques that describes how the many dreadful meals I had as a child were prepared. The film opens with 1949 newlywed Margie Blake in her kitchen as she tries to make a chocolate cake for her husband Tim after he leaves for work. ÂHe just loves chocolate cake! Go ahead, try one! All you have to do is follow the recipe!Â the male voice-over narrator jeers, inviting her to fail. So weÂre not surprised when Margie misreads the recipe and the cake comes out all wrong. We then cut to a different cook. WeÂre shown how to ÂboilÂ meat (to eliminate any flavor), how to ÂsearÂ meat in the oven and how to bake the ÂsearedÂ meat, which has by then lost its juices and is stringy and tasteless (this was the roast served for Sunday dinner). As an accompaniment, whatÂs better than scalloped cauliflower? Naturally, Âthe cauliflower must be boiled until tender.Â WeÂre shown how to make a white sauce with white flour, Âmelted fatÂ and boiled milk. The film emphasizes that a scum should form on the boiled milk, which must mean pasteurization wasnÂt completely widespread then. The casserole should be baked Âuntil brown in color.Â Since this film was made in Kansas, it tells us that Âone of the real tests of a cook is her jelly-making.Â We learn about the Âsheet from the spoonÂ stage. And the Âsoft-ball stageÂ of making frosting by boiling sugar in water. In the end, Margie makes another cake for Tim. He comes home from work for lunch, which the film treats as the norm. ÂCooking TipsÂ is shot without sound. The track consists of a male narrator dictating the action, which has the effect of infantilizing Margie. She faces an unenviable future, day after day, cooking these unappetizing meals.
Subject: Pleasant little film
For the newly wed wife who didn't know how to prepare meals, this little 1949 film was a nice introduction for its time. A lot has changed since then, and it is much easier to bake and cook now, over half a century later.
Subject: A Betty Crocker she ain't!
A corny film but I loved it anyway. Was the wife being a blond an accident(blond = dumb) because I have been familiar with all those cooking terms since I was a kid and I was kicked out of home-ec class when I disagreed with Mrs. Morehead on the virtues of homemade baby food vs. Gerber's. Why a cake? Cake mixes were already being introduced on the market and being trumpeted as good as mom made--1st lady Mamie Eisenhower stocked cake mixes in the White House pantry. I just wonder if cake was the only thing that the newly wed wife made for lunch.
Subject: Not THAT bad, although not too incredibly great
O great, it's Young America again. They had like 15 different introcards. This one is black eagle on white background, stern not smug, and stars that stick out from the background (!)
I have a hard time making the titlecard identify with the patriotic music... And what's the background pattern?
I KNOW I've heard of Edna A. Hill from some other film...
The organ operator seems to occasionally hit 2 keys @ once.
The announcer I'm not sure about. Especially his "or so they think..." comment.
I have to agree with Marysz, the narrators comments completely give the future away. Just hearing makes it somewhat obvious that she'll either fail, or narrowly avoid doing so.
In all honesty, I've never heard the instruction "cream butter".
"Will Tim be surprised...", in all honesty, I'm glad they didn't have her catching the stuff on fire or suchlike.
"Soft ball stage" is another new one on me. I wonder how they knew it was always going to be 235F.
What did they put on that frosting?
Dredge. I wonder how that got to have that meaning as well as the more common manipulation of waterways?
"An oil-acid mixture" ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ I wonder if they also taught Chemistry?
Did they stick Scalloped Cauliflower in here just as an excuse to get all the rest of the terms?
Interesting 2 tier apparatus for scalding.
When he's talking about knowning when scalding is complete, look right behind the pots for an aincent outlet!
No I really cant see the scum in that film.
I notice she's propping the back of the book up with her fist.
Are they implying she has a crap cookbook?
Not a really bad film. Taught me something ;D
Subject: Amazingly enough...
To those that have burned the history books and believe that all previous ages were just like our own, only worse, this film will seem utterly stupid. As, probably, will the idea of cooking food from scratch ingredients. Or at all.
To those that have learned how to cook, this film will seem laughable, or at least will result in a smile and a shake of the head.
To someone that talked to their parents and grandparents about what live was like before the 1960s, this film might not seem quite as laughable. While many women had learned to cook from their parents, or from having to figure it out themselves the hard way during the Depression, there were vast numbers of girls that really had less idea of how to cook than the Margie in this film.
Girls from upper-class homes virtually never learned anything about cooking. Either the maid or the cook did it, or Mother did it, but preserved Daughter from having to know about this nasty brutish pasttime. Daughter indeed might not even know how to set the table, or wash dishes. This could also be the case with many girls from the poorer homes. The elder daughters would certainly know how to cook. But if there were many daughters (and families with 12 to 15 children were common before the 1940s) there is a pretty good chance that the younger children were kept out of the kitchen while cooking was happening.
It should also be mentioned that few men would know much of anything about cooking, unless they were professional cooks, or children of poorer families where everyone might have to work around the home.
Laughable as this film seems now, at the time it was made it would have been very appropriate for probably 50% of the girls taking a beginning Home Economics course.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: The Real Cooking for Dummies
Margie, a new bride, ruins her first chocolate cake because she doesnÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt know the meaning of basic cooking terms like ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂstirÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ and ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂboil.ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ Fortunately, the narrator explains all of these terms to her, and consequently she gets to bake a new cake before her husband comes home, so he never learns of her first cooking disaster. But there are many meals to come, and if Margie is that clueless, disaster in the kitchen is only a matter of time. This is a cute, charming home ec film that says more about the gender roles of the time than it does about cooking. It would have been better, I think, if Margie had been allowed to talk, but still, her facial expressions are priceless. And the food, as expected, looks uniformly terrible (weÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂre talking the successful dishes). ThereÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs even cheesy organ music in the opening and closing, though this is certainly not a Brighter Day in Your Kitchen. It is extremely mstable, though.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: Won't Tim be surprised
Whew.. glad Tim didn't find out she ruined the first cake. He probably would have bent her over his knee!
Subject: "Notice the scum..."
I learned plenty from this film, like why my mom's cooking was so dull. Apparently, she saw this film in Home Ec and really took it to heart. Also, I learned that "dredging" isn't just something you do to a river when looking for corpses. I am certainly glad I have never been called upon to "scald" milk, as it appears that something called "scum" is the result. (Save it for later to make a delicious "Scum Surprise".) The subtle, delicate palette of grey in this film will really put you off your feed, making it a potential aid to dieters. In fact, the mere memory of this film may help me someday should I be required to go on a hunger strike. The hash brownie baking sequence came as quite a surprise, because I thought they stopped promoting hemp after World War II. Not really campy enough for me to go on making jokes at its expense.
Subject: Another of the, "Teach the moron how to carry out a basic task" genre of films
If you have to learn the definition of the word, "stir," you have no place in a kitchen. This film teaches a newlywed wife her proper place in the kitchen, making her husband's favorite foods to "take care of him" better.
I have next to no cooking experience, and even if half my brain leaked out of my head, I'm pretty sure I'd still be knowledgeable enough to not need this movie. See also, "Build Your Vocabulary."
Three stars for assuming the average housewife doesn't know what the word "beat" means in a cooking context.
Subject: One Missing Cooking Term
As graduate of a vocational high school with a culinary arts program, I found the film to be highly amusing. The only main problem I had with it was during the "Scalloped Califlower" section when the lady was making the white sauce. The narrator was taking about putting flour and fat together. The end result of putting flour and fat together is a "roux". Roux is used as a thickener for sauces and gravies. I don't know how the writers of the film missed that one.
Subject: Is learning to Mix that hard?
In this overview of cooking terms, one very stupid housewife, who has a brand new kitchen, now has to learn like REALLY elementary cooking terms (Like boil...ooooh)
Goes over a lot of the terms used, we also learn how to make Jelly and white sauce (no silly, not together.. but seperately!).. All in all, an okay time waster.